I was interviewed for the podcast Talk Junkies last week. The topic was 1 Enoch, based on my recently published The Book of Enoch for Beginners. I enjoyed chatting with Paul about apocryphal books (and quite a few other things before we were done). Hopefully this podcast helps clarify what 1 Enoch is and what we can expect when reading books like 1 Enoch. This is a link to their YouTube channel if you would like to listen to the podcast (like and subscribe, as the say). It is available where ever podcasts are found.
The Book of Enoch for Beginners was published on September 27 and is $12.99 in paperback (delivery is free for Amazon Prime members). The Kindle version is only $6.99 and is available to borrow in Kindle Unlimited for free. It was the #1 New Release in “Additional Biblical Texts” category on Amazon.
What is The Book of Enoch for Beginners: A Guide to Expand Your Understanding of the Biblical World? When you travel, sometimes you buy a tour guidebook to give you the highlights of the place you are visiting. This book is like a tour guide for 1 Enoch. It is only 152 pages, so the book is not a detailed, academic commentary on Enoch. I try to explain some of the details in each section of the book and offer some suggestions on how 1 Enoch can shed like on both Judaism and Christianity in the first century. If you need an academic commentary on 1 Enoch, you should invest in Nickelsburg and VanderKam’s two-volume Hermenia commentary. They are expensive, but by far the best work on Enoch.
Why write a book on 1 Enoch? A few people have asked me why I spent time studying a non-canonical book like 1 Enoch. This book is not in the Bible, not even in the Apocrypha. Unless you are an Ethiopic Christian, you might have never heard of this book before! There are two main reasons I wrote the book, First, it is a fascinating glimpse into the world of developing Judaism in the centuries just before Jesus. Most people think of 1 Enoch as an apocalypse, and although that is not wrong, it is not apocalyptic in the modern sense. There are some wild “end of the world as we know it” scenes in the book, but they are not at all like a science fiction movie nor are there predictions about how American gas prices somehow lead to the rise of the antichrist. The book talks far more about how people live as faithful Jews in an evil world and gives some insight into what was important to Jews living in the time between the Testaments.
Second, there is a great deal of misinformation out there about what is in 1 Enoch. Recent conspiracy theories capitalize on the general population’s ignorance of the book and make claims about the book that are just not true (including flat earth theories). People think the book was suppressed by later Roman Catholics because it has the “real truth.” Movies like Noah or supernatural television shows dredge 1 Enoch for information about angels and demons. My book tries to explain what 1 Enoch actually says in order to put to rest some of these strange ideas.
Third, 1 Enoch is often important for understanding the background of the Bible. For example, I used 1 Enoch when I discussed heavenly throne room scene in Daniel. 7.
Like Isaiah 6, Ezekiel 1 and Daniel 7, Enoch sees a flaming throne and a being with bright clothing light lightning. The name of the one on the throne in Daniel “Ancient of Days” is similar to the “Antecedent of Time.” There is a huge multitude of angelic witnesses in both Daniel and 1 Enoch.
Jim West reviewed the book as did Brent Niedergall. Click through and read what they have to say. I appreciate the early reviews on Amazon and comments I have received saying the book is easy to read and well designed. If you get the book, please consider leaving (hopefully) five-stars on Amazon and if you have the time, a short review (25 words is Amazon’s minimum). Stars and reviews sell books these days.
5 thoughts on “Talk Junkies Podcast on 1 Enoch”
I enjoyed that podcast. Didn’t the author of Genesis suggest a 365 day year by listing Enoch’s life as 365 years?
It is striking that he has a 365 year life and argues (in 1 Enoch) for a 365 day year. I think the author of Enoch may have used the character Enoch for that reason. Maybe.
As for Author of Genesis, there is some alignment of the genealogy with the solar year with the known planets in the ancient world, suggesting some astrological interest. Been a while sine I have read that, but I seem to recall they do not align perfectly. Israel did not sue a 365 day year (did anyone in the ancient world?), so the days are off for Earth.
But honestly, if that were the case in Genesis, the point is not very clear.
Do you believe the author of Genesis was the Elohist or the Priestly source? I’m thinking that the key to “Elohim” is the take on the creation of man as male and female, and thus Elohim is plural, i.e., male and female, as in YHWH and his Asherah, but takes a singular verb, so a weird monotheism..
I think there are clearly two major sources, plus a priestly source/edit and a Deuteronimist edit, resulting the final form of the Pentateuch. I do not think that is all that controversial. I am fine with Josiah as the major update (the DH), probably not anything after that.
However, for me, the final form is all I need to worry about. Source Criticism is a deep rabbit hole that does not produce much understanding of the text (so, Brevard Childs).